December 27, 2007

RIP, Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 3:41 pm

Mitt Romney’s Head Hack Goes Over the Top

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 3:40 pm

I am really offended and angry that within roughly 3 hours of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, a person who apparently has let his blind advocacy obliterate any sense of decorum, proportion, or perspective brought forth opportunistic, withering, and personal attacks on his chosen guy’s presidential campaign opponents (i.e., on their supposed individual and character traits, not their issue positions) — attacks directly tied to Bhutto’s murder:

  • First, read this for yourself and see if my “out of bounds” call is fair. Watch him, in the process, buy into memes that have totally been the creations of the Old Media types he claims to despise.
  • Second, notice here whose statements or comments were not included even though statements (Thompson here, Obama here [4th para from end], Clinton here, Edwards here [10th para]) have been made.

Dictionaries issued henceforth should have Hugh Hewitt’s picture next to the second definition of “hack, n.here.

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UPDATE: There’s mostly agreement in related Hot Air comments.

SOBer Thoughts (122707)

Filed under: Business Moves,Education,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:55 am

MAKING THE ROUNDS of what I believe is the largest single-state blog alliance in the USA:

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Bearing Drift has learned how to relay Christmastime greetings to Democrat and Republican acquaintances.

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Patrick Poole remembers Pan Am Flight 103, and who blew up the plane:

The bombing was organized by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal in coordination with the intelligence service of Libyan dictator Mummar Ghaddafi. After international indictments were served, Abu Nidal fled to Iraq, where he lived under the protection of Saddam Hussein.

Poole’s Existential Space is carrying the must-see totally-unofficial Fred Thompson ad (YouTube link).

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Not surprising, but good to hear from Conservative Culture — Congressman Jim Jordan is running for reelection.

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FYI News notes in a home page link that Ted Strickland is prohibiting charitable work by state employees on government time. That’s a good but easy call (and absolutely disgraceful that it was allowed in previous administrations). Now I want to see Strickland enforce the ban on political campaigning on government time during the upcoming presidential election.

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Gribbit has spokenfor Fred.

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Interested-Participant explains what a “watermelon” press release is. Only because I’m not sure my link will go where it should at this site because of its page design, I’ll tell you: It’s green on the outside, and red on the inside.

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Betcha didn’t know this, but thanks to King’s Right Site I do, and now so do you:

Uranium traces ‘found’ on tubes from N Korea
Published: Saturday, 22 December, 2007, 02:50 AM Doha Time

WASHINGTON: US scientists found traces of enriched uranium on smelted aluminium tubing from North Korea, which appears to contradict its denials of a secret uranium-based nuclear programme, the Washington Post reported yesterday.

US officials were concerned that disclosing the finding of the uranium traces on tubing samples provided by North Korea would further complicate diplomacy with the secretive country, the Post said, citing US and diplomatic sources.

Geez, I wish they didn’t make it sound like they’d rather look the other way.

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Since he’s commenting here from time to time, my theory is that Large Bill isn’t updating his blog because he wants to keep the “Navy beats Notre Dame” post at the top for a long time. Given that it was 44 years in the making, I can’t say that I blame him.

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NixGuy is questioning the religious connections of one of the leading GOP candidates — and it’s not the Objectively Unfit One.

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One Oar has a preview of vehicles that will be available in 2012 when the •£§∞¢≠¶ª CAFE standards kick in.

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Smoke If You Got ‘Em has news that the City of Toledo is engaging in what is almost undoubtedly unconstitutional activity — something that is apparently becoming a habit.

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Return of the Conservatives has a great vid (YouTube link) of “A Homeschool Family (snap-snap).” That was so much fun, I’d consider including it as a positive Reason to Homeschool. Lord knows there are enough negative reasons, such as this.

He also links to a RedStater post about Tancredo supporters gravitating towards Duncan Hunter and not Tom T’s inexplicable fave Mitt Romney.

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Maggie Thurber’s blog is apparently for the erudite. Yeah, well mine is more ….. uh ….. accessible.

Study: Fox Is the Most Fair and Balanced Thus Far in Prez Campaign

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 8:45 am

A leading nonpartisan media watchdog, the Center for Media and Public Affairs, says so. The “About” page for CMPA is here.

Imagine that (HT The Cable Game):

The Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University ….. found that Fox News Channel’s evening news show provided more balanced coverage than its counterparts on the broadcast networks.

A look at the press release (small PDF) reveals the extent of the balance at Fox, and the imbalance elsewhere:

Fox News Channel’s coverage was more balanced toward both parties than the broadcast networks were. On FOX, evaluations of all Democratic candidates combined were split almost evenly – 51% positive vs. 49% negative, as were all evaluations of GOP candidates – 49% positive vs. 51% negative, producing a perfectly balanced 50-50 split for all candidates of both parties.

On the three broadcast networks, opinion on Democratic candidates split 47% positive vs. 53% negative, while evaluations of Republicans were more negative – 40% positive vs. 60% negative. For both parties combined, network evaluations were almost 3 to 2 negative in tone, i.e. 41% positive vs. 59% negative.

On specific GOP candidates:

Among Republicans, Mike Huckabee fared best with evenly balanced coverage – 50% positive and 50% negative evaluations by reporters and sources. Fred Thompson came next with 44% positive comments, followed by Mitt Romney with 40% positive, Rudy Giuliani with 39% positive, and John McCain with 33% positive.

Here’s their methodology, again from the PDF:

CMPA has monitored every presidential election since 1988 using the same methodology, in which trained coders tally all mentions of candidates and issues and all evaluations of candidates. We report the evaluations by non-partisan sources, excluding comments by the candidates and campaigns about each other, because research shows that non-partisan sources have the most influence on public opinion, and they are also more subject to the discretion of reporters. However, we maintain data files on partisan evaluations as well.

Teeing it up: I’ll leaving it to commenters to discuss why, of all GOP candidates, Huckabee is the one getting a fair shake from Old Media thus far, and whether the 14-point difference in Dem-GOP positive/negative differentials at the big three networks (47/53 [-6] vs. 40/60 [-20]) will narrow or widen as the campaign progresses.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: Open note to Jeff at Ohio Daily Blog — Following up on the discussion that began here at Wide Open during the fun times over SCHIP, I look forward to seeing analogous work from a nonpartisan group showing how fair and balanced the liberal advocacy organizations known as NPR and PBS are.

Ann Coulter Takes Apart Mike Huckabee

This is fortunate, because beyond what I’ve done already (here, here, and here [first item at link]), and a briefly noting that Old Media may like nothing better than the Huckster as nominee, I don’t have to.

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UPDATE: Okay, I don’t have to, but on this one (HT Hot Air via Discerning Texan), I want to –

….. Huckabee is racking up big bucks on the campaign trail speaking at churches. Now, he does this it seems, by funneling the speaking fees through his company, 12 Stops, Inc., which was named after Huckabee’s book From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPS to Restoring America’s Greatness.

….. Huckabee, even though campaigning for President, makes $25,000.00 per engagement plus expenses to speak at churches, but not to general audiences.

Putting aside the wonder that church members are willing to fork over collection money to pay this kind of fee for any speaker, has any serious presidential candidate ever done this? I’m starting to think that Huck got into the race only to enhance his earning capacity as a speaker and consulant (“former presidential candidate” looks good on the resumé). Now he’s the most surprised person in America that he’s actually gained traction.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (122707)

Is there no limit to how the Clintons will rewrite history (HT The Campaign Spot)?

The claim that Mrs. Clinton was heavily involved in the Irish peace process in the mid-1990s is apparently a month old. Dick Morris and Eileen McGann totally dissected their load of blarney on Monday:

How odd that Hillary forgot to mention her pivotal role in Ireland just four years ago, when she wrote her $8 million memoir, Living History. There, she told a very different story (of ceremonial involvement, at best — Ed.).

….. Bill’s memoirs are also totally devoid of any memories of any role at all by Hillary in the peace process. Other than the Christmas tree lighting and attending receptions and meeting celebrities — Bono, Seamaus Heaney, etc. — there is nothing substantive about Hillary.

As a general statement, I couldn’t agree more with those last six words.

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Unreal news from New York (HT JammieWearingFool via Instapundit):

SPITZER OFFICE TAKES BYTE OUT
Cover-up Eyed as Scandal Probers Find Staff’s Computers ‘Scrubbed’ or Missing

Computers in Gov. Spitzer’s office were intentionally “purged and scrubbed” of potentially crucial records involving the Dirty Tricks Scandal – while others have simply disappeared, investigators have been told.

The blockbuster charges – which could involve the illegal destruction of public records – have been made by at least four current and former state computer experts, including some who worked directly in Spitzer’s office, The Post has been told.

The allegations, recently outlined to investigators from the Senate Investigations Committee, could explain Spitzer’s repeated refusal to allow committee probers, as well as those from the state Public Integrity Commission and the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, to examine computer hard drives, BlackBerrys and other e-mail communications devices used by Spitzer and his staff, investigators say.

The New York Times had a story yesterday with a typically uninformative headline of the type used when bad news relating to Democrats is involved:

Albany G.O.P. Plans Inquiry on Reports of Purged E-Mail by the Administration.

Whose administration, guys? The story mentions “deleting electronic records,” but has nothing about the alleged missing computers.

I also could not find the story in “Today’s Paper” (i.e., the Times’s print edition) for Tuesday.

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The Big Dig is done. The lawsuits aren’t, though one was just settled, nor are the criminal proceedings. There is a $1.4 billion debt hangover. I wish I could find a definitive safety-related update to this.

I do hope for Boston’s sake that the indisputable improvements in getting around the city lead to a better and growing economy. On further thought, it had better happen. After all, the country paid for almost half ($7 billion) of its $14.8 billion cost.

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“Fraud Seen as a Driver In Wave of Foreclosures” — I’d like to see the percentage of all foreclosures that can be traced to fraud. That shouldn’t be too hard for someone in Old Media to look into. Since we probably won’t ever see an answer from anyone in Old Media, anyone who has the info or can lay out a roadmap is welcome to e-mail me. If it’s as high as 30% – 50%, it makes some of the remedies coming out of Washington seem rather useless. The banks that got taken need to suffer, as it’s their job to check things out. Those who engaged in fraud need to do serious hard time.

Positivity: Sunni, Shia March Together in Baghdad for Peace

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Baghdad:

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Approximately 1,000 Iraqi citizens, of both Shia and Sunni religions, joined together on the sectarian fault line in Rawaniyah, the Karkh District of Baghdad, to march with one another in what they called a “Peace March”, Dec. 19.

It was an Iraqi initiative to ease sectarian tensions, solely driven by Iraqi Neighborhood Council (NAC) and District Advisory Council (DAC) leaders and Sheiks from both religious sects in the area, said Capt. Marcus Melton, commander of Pale Horse Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
With Iraqi Army and Iraqi policemen maintaining the security on the streets and within the crowd during the event, they were able to successfully complete the march for united peace among all Iraqis.

Drums beat, children ran, silly string littered the air and one man nearly wept. It was an exciting, yet emotional day for the Iraqis who participated.

A local Sheik came over a loud speaker during the march to talk with his local comrades. He expressed his joy for their wanted peace, but nearly wept in the thought of those who have lost their lives in the battle for sectarian dominance. Many families, friends and sons have lost their lives during this time.

“But dominance by one religious group is just a mindset, filed in the heads of the Iraqis”, said Melton, a native of Atlanta, Ga.

This area is relatively calm today, but in January of this year violence raged through the streets, especially on Haifa.

“The mindset that Shias stay on this side of the fence and Sunnis stay on the other carried over from the violence which once plagued the area,” Melton said. “There is only a street, Sheik Murah Street, which separates these men. To the west of this street is a Shia neighborhood. To the east is a Sunni neighborhood.

“So it’s a sectarian line dividing the two,” he said. “They are working really hard within themselves to kind of get over this (sectarian mindset).”

If they continue their quest for peace among all, Melton said the area will stabilize and move things forward in several areas.

“If the neighborhoods come together and start really working together at the NAC and DAC levels without sectarian issues, the government will become much more efficient and more self-sustaining,” Melton said. “Same thing on the security front in terms of the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police being trusted by the community and being able to secure the community–both of which are positive things for us, which will allow us to transition out of a more direct role into more of an over-watch role.”

Melton, who is in his second tour in Baghdad, said “I know they are moving forward and making progress. Certainly they have issues and problems and growing pains, but they have made a tremendous amount of progress.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.